Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Lifestyle black and white photography on a family farm


I travelled to Market Harborough in Leicestershire recently for this wonderful family photography session with Julia and her lovely children. One first met Julia and Jon back in 2008 when I had visited the family at their home to photograph their children George and Oliver, then aged three and one. We had kept in touch over the years and I was thrilled when Jon contacted us to arrange a session for Julia’s Christmas present, a brilliant gift even if I do say so myself!

Since I had last visited the family, they had grown with the addition of Jon and Julia’s youngest son Remy, now four years old and with three boys to entertain, Jon suggested that we take the pictures not at their home in Amersham, but at Julia’s parents’ farm.

Now, I love a farm and I’ve always found them to be a brilliant location for children’s and family photography, and so I absolutely jumped at the chance. Any portrait session where I’m warned in advance that wellington boots and a change of clothes will be required are good with me, and I wasn’t disappointed as I really couldn’t have thought of a better spot for our family portraits.

We had a brilliant morning with the boys showing me around their favourite spots (and luckily they did agree that perhaps playing in the stream was best done at the end rather than the beginning of the photo shoot). We ran around the fields, explored the lanes, climbed the most incredible stack of haystacks (I loved how fearless the boys were sliding down, having the most incredible time) and then taking me to see the highest point in the whole area with fantastic views as our reward (and a great sillouette shot of the boys jumping off the monument, which is a real favourite from the session).

We then headed back to the farm for tea and cake after a brilliant game of ‘Billy Goats Gruff’ with the boys’ cousins who were visiting that day too, and who I had also photographed before so it was particularly lovely to see them again. With any game that involves a bridge and a stream, there was potential for getting wet and I was very glad of my wellies as I waded in with the children to find the best possible angles in my pictures. As always, the little extra effort (and some slightly damp feet) was worth it and I’m thrilled with all the pictures.

I hope you will enjoy them too and if, like Jon and Julia, I have photographed your family before and to you are wondering when to book your next session, let’s make it this summer – it would be lovely to see you again, and I promise lots of wonderful photographs and plenty of fun along the way, as these pictures will show!

Do read more about my black and white family photography or take a look at my family photography page


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